Mossel Bay NSRI Station 15 hosted a well-deserved function for Ian Hamilton on Thursday, 15 November 2018.
It was to honour Ian, who was pivotal in starting negotiations in 1969 to establish a Sea Rescue station for the greater Mossel Bay area.
Since the inception of the Mossel Bay NSRI in May 1971, Ian has always been part of the management of the station and eagerly kept everyone on the right track.
During a management meeting on 10 May 2018, Ian tabled his resignation from the management team, one year short of 50 years since he so diligently started the ball rolling. At the function for Ian, André Fraser, the station commander, read the letter from the NSRI CEO, Dr Cleeve Robertson, who wrote: "I think it is appropriate to express our most sincere thanks and best wishes as you step out of a lifetime of service to the management committee of Station 15 Mossel Bay.
"You have truly been and still are, an inspiration to all, and your humanity, professionalism and dedication is unparalleled, a source of great pride and honour for the NSRI.
"You remain a pillar of the NSRI family and are always welcome in the Institute. From all of us in every nook of Sea Rescue, please accept a small gift as a token of appreciation and an expression of our deep gratitude to you and your family. "
Ian was recently awarded a prestigious accolade, but time never allowed to have this officially presented to him.
This function was thus used to also present him the award of Honorary Life Governor, presented to "individuals who have made an exceptional and outstanding contribution to the NSRI over a number of years and who have more to offer to the Institute in the future. Honorary Life Governors should have served on the operations or governance board unless there are other compelling reasons for the individual to be included." After the awards were presented, Ian addressed the crew and guests in his ever-humble way, saying it had always been an honour and privilege to be part of the Mossel Bay NSRI and that he had always and will always see a great future for the organisation.
Ian also made it clear he is not retiring from the station and that he will still be as actively involved as he possibly can.
A few of the crew and guests had some stories to tell and some history was re-lived during the socialising after the formalities.
The crew of NSRI Station 15 Mossel Bay with management and friends after the ceremony.
André Fraser, Ian Hamilton and Hennie Niehaus at the Station 15 boathouse that was named after Ian.